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U.S. Tablet Sales Led by iPad in 2013 as Chromebooks Overtake MacBooks

Among "commercial channel" sales to distributors for corporate, government, and business customers, the iPad held the biggest share of sales for any tablet in the U.S. during 2013, while sales of Google Chromebooks made up a bigger percentage of the laptop market compared to Mac notebooks, according to a new report from The NPD Group.

The data in the report showed that the iPad accounted for 15.8% of personal computing device sales in the channel, which was greater than that of Android tablets at 8.7% and Windows tablets at 2.2%. However, the iPad's share of unit sales in the U.S. this year is down from the year-ago period, where it made up for 17.1% of sales. Sales of both Android tablets and Windows tablets grew by 4.5% and 1.4%, respectively.

Meanwhile, sales of Chromebooks in the United States grew to 9.6% in 2013, surpassing the 1.8% share of unit sales held by Apple notebooks. Windows notebooks still held on to 34.1% of the market, but was down 8.8% from the 42.9% share it held last year.

The news follows a broader report from October stating that Mac sales were down 7% year-over-year for the full September quarter, as the decline of traditional PC sales as a whole is likely due in part to the rising popularity of tablets.

Both the iPad and the MacBook line of notebooks saw refreshes this year, as Apple announced the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display along with updated models of the 13-inch and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro at its October event. New versions of the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air were also announced at Apple's WWDC keynote this past June, and featured enhanced performance with significantly improved battery life.

Apple could also be gearing up to release new types of both products in 2014. Rumors of a larger-size iPad for release in 2014 have surfaced occasionally throughout the past few months, and a report in October from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated that Apple may be planning to release a 12-inch MacBook with an all-new design in the middle of 2014.

Tag: NPD

Top Rated Comments

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67 months ago

ChromeOS is a pitiful excuse of an OS. By far the worst I have ever used.

It is getting harder to recommend people a low end $1000 easy to use Mac when all they do is browse the web/check their e-mail. Chromebooks are likely doing well because the majority of people simply use their web browser. Personally I need a full OS but it's clear that a lot of the public simply doesn't.
Rating: 58 Votes
67 months ago
How many of these purchasers realised it didn't have Windows on it?
Rating: 56 Votes
67 months ago
People must be buying chromebooks so their android tablet has some company in the bottom drawer
Rating: 39 Votes
67 months ago
ChromeOS is a pitiful excuse of an OS. By far the worst I have ever used.
Rating: 34 Votes
67 months ago

Meanwhile at Apple...
Rating: 30 Votes
67 months ago

Chromebook is not a real laptop. It's an overpriced toy that is essentially useless in the real world. Macbooks continue to dominate in the real laptop market segment with the world's most advanced operating system OS X.

I think that tablets - including the iPad - are also overpriced and useless toys. And I don't see where OS X is more advanced than the competition. I like OS X, but it's not in any regard more advanced or better than Linux, FreeBSD or Windows. That's just marketing nonsense.
Rating: 23 Votes
67 months ago
That is amazing number for the Chromebooks. Kinda remarkable it sold 5x Macbooks despite low consumer awareness. No wonder MS is scared ********.

Edit 1: looking at some of the bitter response by Apple fanboys remind me in 2009 when Android had 2% market share and the same group of people ridiculed the platform that there is no future. Many people simply have knee jerk reaction to anything Google does.
Rating: 22 Votes
67 months ago
Chromebooks represented roughly 10% of the US commercial channel market from January to November of 2013.

It might help if I knew what "commercial channel" meant. Which retailers does that include? Or which does it exclude?

Otherwise... they're saying 1 out of every 10 desktops, laptops, Android tablets, iPads, etc... was a Chromebook.

Really? That seems high.

EDIT: EbookReader provided the above link that said "commercial channel" was businesses, schools, government and other organizations.

This chart does NOT represent the general consumer market. Those are the numbers I'm interested in.
Rating: 20 Votes
67 months ago
I don't get it. I work at a university and I see a LOT of people with laptops... and I can only recall one Chromebook, ever. Mac laptops are extremely popular, both with students and with faculty - I'd guess it's about 50% of the laptops I see are Macs. Maybe it's different as we're a technical department (EE) that's right next to the CSE department - so those are the students and faculty I tend to see.

As a side note - a quarter or so of our faculty really like the Surface. iPads and Android tablets are neck in neck, but both are definitely in second place.
Rating: 20 Votes
67 months ago

how many of these purchasers realised it didn't have windows on it?

Rating: 19 Votes

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